Organizations face diverse changes in their business environment due to technological advancement that significantly influences profitability and expansion in the market. The diverse changes promoting workplace trends include employee diversity, deficiency of skills, and the aging workforce. The human resource develops policies and strategies to manage these workplace trends. Haddock-Millar, Sanyal, and Muller-Camen (2016) assert that human resource management enhances the adaptability of an organization to the dynamic business environment through planning, designing, and managing the organization’s system and workforce. Thus, organizations adopt flexible business strategies to enhance their competitiveness and growth. Therefore, this essay investigates various functions of human resource management in enhancing the organization’s business flexibility, equal employment opportunity laws guiding employee recruitment, trends in the business environment affecting organizations, and flexible approach that organizations adopt to enhance their growth.
Key Functional Areas of Human Resource Management
The key functional areas include staffing, designing work, and employee compensation and benefits. According to Reutzel, Belsito, and Collins (2016), the functional areas of human resource management involves processes of planning job activities, employee recruitment, and employee benefits management. The strategic objective of human resource management includes the recruitment of the right number of employees within the organization with the desired relevant skills. Staffing achieves this strategic objective through analysis of the available jobs, human resource planning, and recruitment process. Job analysis examines job functions to determine the duties involved and the required skills. Through human resource planning, staffing ensures recruitment, training, and maintenance of the right number of employees with appropriate skills.
The second functional area of human resource management includes the job design process that refers to the proper arrangement of employee tasks to minimize mechanical and repetitive processes, and employee alienation and increase employee job satisfaction. The processes adopted include defining job contents, processes of completing each task, and creating various channels of relationships in the different work environments within the organization. These processes enhance job rotation, simplification, and job improvement. Enhancement of job satisfaction improves employee effectiveness and productivity level that ultimately leads to increased overall organization productivity. Compensation and benefit functional area of human resource management involves the setting of performance standards, planning personnel expenses, and introducing competitive benefits and transparent compensation. The setting performance of standards enhances productive competition among employees in undertaking task and service delivery that leads to overall organization productivity. Compensation and benefits rewards include paid vacations, sick leave, wages, and medical insurance. Effective and transparent rewards promote the management of organization costs and entice employees to improve individual performance.
Key Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws
Equal employment opportunity laws refer to strategic enforcement regulations aimed at promoting unbiased employment and controlling workplace harassment in reference to the variation in individual characteristics. Krieger, Best, and Edelman (2015) hold that equal employment opportunity laws stipulate equal treatment of all people. The law thus permits all employees for equal opportunities in employment and promotion depending on individual skills and performance.
The Civil Rights Act (1964)
The law protects against employment discrimination, and human resource management utilizes this regulation in ensuring equal employment opportunities for all across its business areas. This act provides that the discrimination of any individual based on color, sex, nationality of origin, race, and religion is illegal. The law applies to all organizations with 15 and more employees including private and public organizations, employment agencies, and federal, state, and local government. Therefore, to reduce discrimination and address impediments to equal employment opportunities, human resource management observes this legal requirement as the best practice to promote the organization’s global image and growth.
The Equal Pay Act (1963)
This act provides for fair labor standards with the objective of abolishing the existence of wage disparity among the organization’s employees based on gender. The law makes illegal gender-based wage discrimination of employees within an organization working in the same task establishment and undertaking tasks with equal responsibility, effort, and skill in a similar work environment. The law guides human resource management in ensuring equal treatment of all employees in accessing compensations and benefits related to their appointments. Hence, the adoption of this law ensures equal compensation and benefits for all employees undertaking the same task, irrespective of gender, and is important in enhancing employee satisfaction and improvement of productivity.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967)
The act protects age-based discrimination of employees aged 40 years and above from discriminatory discharge, recruitment, compensation, and promotion in an organization. Human resource management utilizes this law for best employment practices of ensuring that older workers receive the same treatment and opportunities for employment. The law promotes a fair employment practice based on the ability but not age and guides human resource management in finding ways to address problems associated with age differences of employment within the organization.
The Americans with Disability Act (1990)
This act makes it illegal to discriminated qualified persons with disabilities in private and government institutions. The law guides human resource managers in formulating organization policies to accommodate known mental or physical limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability. An organization adopts best employment practices by examining the abilities of the person with a disability to undertake specific job functions and ensure consistent support to enhance productivity and job satisfaction.
Trends Affecting Organizations
Deficiency of Skills
The workplace faces constant changes requiring new skills for businesses to maintain economic competitiveness. Deficiency in skills is a result of constant changes in processes due to the adoption of advanced technology by organizations that create additional opportunities demanding advanced employee skills. Organizations face challenges in enhancing work skills due to growing disparity in employee skills and job requirements (Moen, Kojola, & Schaefers, 2016). The examples of impacts to the organization include deficiency of work skills leads to accidents, reduced productivity, and diminished product quality. Organizations must, therefore, create employee retention strategies and adopt the costly replacement and training programs to maintain a balance of skilled population workforce that enhances competitiveness and productivity.
The organization workforce has undergone changes due to the global approach to economic involvement and advancement in technology. The formulation and enactment of various labor laws significantly influence diversity in the workplace. Moen et al. (2016) argue that diversity promotes employee performance and the overall performance of an organization. Diversity in the workplace enhances the interaction of people with different experiences and contributes to a pool of talent, resulting in knowledge sharing, increased productivity, and enhanced job satisfaction. The diversity workforce strengthens the interpersonal relationship and improves organizations’ reputation and overall productivity. Additionally, other examples of impacts caused by workplace diversity include a split in workforce social requirements, change in the process of communication across different departments, and the emergence of terms of employment that include full-time and part-time contracts.
Organizations experience challenges of the aging workforce that demand retirement and recruitment of new employees. Aging workforce increases organizations’ cost due to retirement compensation and benefits to aged employees, recruitment process, and training of new staff. The presence of an aging workforce in an organization reduces the overall productivity of the organization due to loss of skills, reduced public and private investment, and increased healthcare costs (Moen et al., 2016). The examples of the impact on organizations are the shortage of labor, loss of expertise and experience, reduced productivity, and increased costs of employee benefits, recruitment process, and training of new employees.
Ways Organizations Respond to Flexibility Need
The Adoption of Shared Service Centers
This approach refers to the consolidation of routine and transaction activities dispersed in various areas in the organization to one place to enhance the provision of customized services to clients. The approach involves focused market differentiation intended to create better services to the customer through the partnership of businesses offering supplementary products. The shared service centers promote agility and flexibility of value delivery of service to customers (Harraf, Wanasika, Tate, & Talbott, 2015). The basis for this approach is to enhance cost saving, improve efficiency, offer tailored customer service, and drive new skills and opportunities for organizations in the global market through a partnership of teams with high capabilities.
Outsourcing entails the transfer of responsibility and objective of service delivery to an external provider aimed at reducing cost, shortening production time, and improving product quality through collaboration. Outsourcing increases organizational flexibility through the adoption of the variable cost that involves a fee for a service payment approach. The model promotes organization flexibility through enhanced resource management and business processes (Harraf et al., 2015). The principle of this model is to enable an organization to focus on core competencies and maintain growth goals by avoiding large capital investment in employees and the acquisition of equipment.
Organizations face diverse changes in their business environment due to technological advancement that significantly influences profitability and expansion in the market. These diverse changes create and generate workplace trends such as employee diversity, deficiency of skills, and the aging workforce. Human resources enhance the adaptability of an organization to the dynamic business environment through planning, designing, and management of an organization’s system and workforce. Thus, organizations adopt flexible business strategies to enhance their competitiveness and growth.
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